1887

Abstract

are characterized by the presence of long-chain lipids, notably mycolic acids (α-alkyl, β-hydroxy fatty acids), the structures of which are genus-specific. Mycolic acids from two environmental strains, and , were isolated and their structures were established using a combination of mass spectrometry analysis, H-NMR spectroscopy and chemical degradations. The C–C cleavage of these C–C acids led to the formation of two fragments: saturated C–C acids, and saturated and unsaturated C–C aldehydes. Surprisingly, the fatty acids at the origin of the two fragments making up these mycolic acids were present in only minute amounts in the fatty acid pool. Moreover, the double bond in the main C aldehyde fragment was located at position ω16, whereas that found in the ethylenic fatty acids of the bacteria was at ω9. These data question the biosynthesis of these new mycolic acids in terms of the nature of the precursors, chain elongation and desaturation. Nevertheless, they are consistent with the occurrence of the key genes of mycolic acid biosynthesis, including those encoding proteins of the fatty acid synthase II system, identified in the genome of . Altogether, while the presence of mycolic acids and analysis of their 16S rDNA sequences would suggest that these strains belong to the family, the originality of their structures reinforces the recent description of the novel genera and .

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2012-03-01
2019-10-21
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